- 15 May 09
To get ahead in Irish society, a dubious attitude towards the truth has always helped. But as chickens come home to roost it is, at long last perhaps, time for change
The poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill has said that the reason the Irish are such good fiction writers is that we are too close as a society to tell the truth about each other. We use fiction to distance ourselves. Enmeshed as we are on so many levels – familial, local and national, truth gets sacrificed in favour of consensus, in favour of not hurting people’s feelings or causing offence, or rocking the boat, or threatening those in power. We fear ripping apart the fabric of our social network, however damaging it is to us on an individual level.